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Pierre-Andre comments on Well-Kept Gardens Die By Pacifism - Less Wrong

105 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 21 April 2009 02:44AM

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Comment author: Pierre-Andre 21 April 2009 01:58:17PM 5 points [-]

Given a finite amount of time in a day, I have to decide how to use it. While I can afford to take a quick look at each comment when there are only few of them, I have no choice but to ignore some when there are pages of them (and other top-level posts to read). One nice thing with the karma system is the "best to worst" comments order: I can read the first ones and stop reading when encountering too many "boring" ones in a row (but maybe not "boring" enough to merit a downvote).

However, if many people use a similar algorithm to mine, the "bad" comments won't be read often and thus won't get further downvotes. Worst: the "good but new" comments (starting at 0) can get stuck in that pool of unread comments.

Vladimir_Nesov suggested to add a "mediocre" voting option affecting karma by -0.3 (instead of the -1 or +1). I would instead suggest a "I read this" button, worth 0 karma, together with some counter indicating the total amounts of votes irrespective of them being -1, 0 or +1. When you read a post/comment, you always vote: -1 if you judge it bad, +1 if you judge it good and 0 if you are not ready to do any of the previous.

With such a device, people could once in a while "sacrifice" some of their time reading low karma comments with few total reading count. Moreover, the current -4 threshold for hiding a post could become a function of this total count (some kind of variance).

Comment author: stcredzero 21 April 2009 05:30:28PM 3 points [-]

I think the "mediocre" vote is really a vote on a post being noise. Instead of just "karma," one could have four numbers: signal, noise, agree, disagree. You can only vote these numbers up, and you can only vote up one of the 4.

A post would then have two scores: a "signal to noise ratio" and a "agree/disagree" score, which would be a the agrees minus the disagrees. (And actually, the signal to noise ratio would not necessarily be treated as a ratio. Both signal and noise numbers will probably be displayed.)

A vote on agree/disagree would be treated as an implicit upvote on "signal" by the post visibility algorithm.

This would make the karma system harder to game. You can vote "noise" to try and censor a post you disagree with, but then you can't also disagree with it.

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 21 April 2009 06:16:17PM 3 points [-]

This is an old quality/agreement debate. My position is that agreement is irrelevant, only usefulness for improving your understanding of something you are interested in is. Communicate likelihood ratio, not posterior belief.

Comment author: thomblake 21 April 2009 05:35:16PM 1 point [-]

Voted up because while this isn't the first time this sort of thing has been proposed (and I might disagree with the "implicit upvote"), I think "signal" and "noise" are awesome names for that feature.